Companies

Tata Consumer Products to spice up offline reach for Sampann range of products

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 30, 2020

Sunil D’Souza, Managing Director & CEO, TCPL

The demand for in-home consumption and essentials continues to be robust, says TCPL chief

Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) believes there is enough headroom to grow in staples and packaged food space and the company is now expanding the offline reach of its spices and pulses brand Sampann, according to a top company official.

The company is taking advantage of commodity spaces and driving conversion from unbranded to branded across beverages and foods.

It is witnessing a change in consumption patterns, with an increased focus on safety and convenience along with a shift towards ‘trusted’ brands with a strong heritage, TCPL Managing Director & CEO Sunil D’Souza told PTI.

Traditional ingredients, which have been known to build health and immunity over the ages, have been favoured.

“Our foods business in India, which is salt, pulses, spices and mixes has probably been the biggest beneficiary of this trend in India,” he said.

However, D’Souza also added that it is “difficult to say how many of these trends will become sustained long-term behaviour patterns. So, it will be vital for us to stay close to the consumer to quickly adapt to ongoing shifts in consumer behaviour.”

 

According to him, the demand for in-home consumption and essentials continues to be robust, both in India and international markets.

“Some consumer performance parameters are coming back to normal. However, it is currently a rather uncertain environment due to sporadic lockdowns, a downward revision of GDPs, reduced consumer confidence, volatility in commodity prices etc. In the short term, we will need to remain focused on managing these challenges to deliver stable results,” he said.

In the longer term, building digitisation capability, ability to manage supply chain risks, innovating products and go to market routes in line with shifts in consumer behaviour will be vital in delivering growth, D’Souza added.

Positioning of brand Sampann

While talking about its brand Sampann, D’Souza said its portfolio is well-positioned to meet consumer concern around wellness and improving health and is expanding its reach.

“In channels like e-commerce, Tata Sampann has already built very strong equity and market share, and the task for us now is to leverage our new Sales and Distribution system to expand the offline reach for Sampann products,” D’Souza said.

 

According to him, Tata Sampann has much headroom for growth and is focused on expanding its reach further.

Apart from modern trade, traditional retail and tie-ups with e-commerce websites, the brand is also now available in select cities, on our Nutrikorner platform, which we plan to scale up further. Tata Nutrikorner is one of the largest brand-owned content-to-commerce platforms in the nutrition space, he said.

Tata Sampann brand of spices and pulses at its core has always been about the ‘intersection of traditional Indian wisdom & modern science.’

TCPL, which was renamed after merging the consumer products business of Tata Chemicals with Tata Global Beverages, said it focused on the integration of the food and beverage businesses and leveraging the opportunities.

“I believe these are categories with a lot of headroom for growth. Taking advantage of commodity spaces and driving conversion from unbranded to branded is built into the DNA of this organisation, across beverages and foods. We have a proven track record of creating category-defining brands in commodity spaces, like Tata Tea, Tata Salt and Tetley. We see similar opportunities in the staples and packaged food space too.”

Once TCPL creates the standard platforms for execution, there are significant opportunities for it to move up the value chain into more value-added and premium products in the food and beverage space.

“We will be stepping up the pace of product innovation, mapping to key trends such as health & wellness and convenience. While in the shorter term, you could expect to see more focus on the adjacencies that we have in food and beverage, over a period of time, you could expect us to branch out beyond that to the larger FMCG space, he said.

Challenges due to Covid

While talking about the overall business, D’Souza said intermittent lockdowns and the widespread disruption caused by Covid continue to be a challenge.

However, things are more streamlined now than they were a few months back. While we have seen the impact on the supply chain, as well as go to market channels...we have been agile in mitigating these challenges,” he said.

TCPL has done this through a variety of routes - ongoing risk management to ensure supply continuity, a greater focus on digitization and e-commerce, using tele-calling for retailer order fulfilment, re-casting sales territories and routes for our sales force, continuous engagement with government and industry bodies, D’Souza added.

Over its global sales, TCPL said due to Covid, there has been pantry loading in international markets, leading to an upsurge in tea and coffee demand.

“While regular black tea continues to be the largest category in the tea market, non-Black tea, i.e. Fruit & Herbal, Specialty, Cold Infusions etc. is witnessing strong growth. This is due to increased consumer preference for health & wellness products. Many of our innovations in the international market are based on the themes of health & wellness and convenience,” said D’Souza.

TCPL owns brands like TATA Salt, TATA Tea, Tetley, Eight O’ clock and Himalayan Water.

Published on August 30, 2020

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